Chamberlin Awaits: CD
It seemed like certain quarters were pushing these guys so hard as the best thing going right now in the world of punk that I was kind of turned off from them for a while. Have I come around to thinking the Menzingers are the saviors of modern punk? No. I don’t think this would make even my top five albums of the year so far (although, maybe the upper reaches of my top ten). But, I do give it to these guys that they are a pretty damn good band. First off, the main singer (is it Tom May or Greg Barnett?) has a pretty distinct voice. It’s kind of an over-enunciated mush mouth that’s always on the verge of breaking into a scream. Musically, the band is tight in a Lawrence Arms / Smoke Or Fire type way that plays up melody over aggression. The song “Time Tables” is what nudges this over the bar for me. It’s quite an excellent song about what may or may not have been an old fling. That would probably make it onto my 2010 highlight reel. “Rivalries,” too, is quite a charmer of a ditty. Not everything is that strong on here for me, but to look past the hype, this is a pretty solid release. I’ll probably actually want to listen to the record after this review is done, which is a good enough accomplishment for me.
–Adrian (Red Scare)